Don’t support laws you are not willing to kill to enforce

Don’t support laws you are not willing to kill to enforce

Yale Law School Professor Stephen Carter – a prominent left of center legal scholar – has an excellent column highlighting an important lesson of the recent tragic death of Eric Garner at the hands of a New York City police officer. Unlike the Michael Brown case in Ferguson, Missouri, where there was conflicting witness testimony, this killing was pretty obviously indefensible, and has been condemned by observers across the political spectrum. But, as Carter emphasizes, incidents like this are also a predictable consequence of the overextension of the regulatory state:

On the opening day of law school, I always counsel my first-year students never to support a law they are not willing to kill to enforce. Usually they greet this advice with something between skepticism and puzzlement, until I remind them that the police go armed to enforce the will of the state, and if you resist, they might kill you.

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